In the twentieth century, Americans celebrate some of the loveliest pagan customs. Those pagan customs are often designed and commercialized to exploit the consumer tendencies of youngsters to gobble as much candy as they can, and to make every pagan festival complete, there are colors and decorations that are trotted out every year so that youngsters and their parents can mark the passage of time through youth.
These lovely pagan holidays for children are not known to have any greater significance - the pagan rituals are not considered "religious holidays", and thus, because they are pagan, children are encouraged to frolic and sport in relatively harmless ways. The pagan events never seem to become dangerous unless someone threatens to take them seriously.
For the child who begins to grow into young adulthood, and begins to question his meaning, and the meaning of that which surrounds him, the gobbling of candy and the playing of pranks becomes rather secondary in interest, and the teenager begins to question the purpose of these pagan rituals. It is then carefully explained to that young teenager that the pagan ritual is derived from early Christian wars against Darkness. The teenager now has it in his or her head that early Christians certainly seemed to have their work cut out for them, and who could imagine what bogeys they possibly faced, and how hard the good Christians must have worked to keep that Darkness at bay, day after day, night after night.
The young adult who survives puberty, with mental and emotional fears intact, is now well-prepared for a good Christian life, and is equipped to keep Darkness suppressed by stamping out the merest spark of creativity or individuality that might dare to rear its ugly head in the light of day. Those are the good children who were brought up to believe that anything different must also be bad, or that those people who behaved differently or followed different customs must also be evil. Thus enlightenment, change, progress, and healing can be kept neutral, and nothing that is not known can possibly threaten the status quo of Ignorance.
It is as a young adult that the fork of choice truly seems to manifest - humans have the choice to remain as they are, and to progress on that path, and the natural course of evolution associated with that path. Those are the ones who choose to stay in the garden, and to leave the apple well alone, and they are blessed for their choice.
Those humans, however, who choose to taste the apple, and willingly leave the garden, have chosen a different path of the fork - and their choice is equally honored, for what they have chosen is to seek the unknown, and attempt to make that Known.
It would seem that those who leave the path of so-called conventional wisdom (that which is known, and revered) have chosen to explore other possibilities, and are free to explore dimensions of knowledge and experience independently of the mainstream.
Thus, we now have pagans, and as the pagans began to explore their historic and spiritual roots, they find that the so-called Christian wars were actually wars against pagans, or others who practiced outside of mainstream religions, and even against other Christians. The end result was (and still is) invariably social, cultural, geographical, and religious domination through monetary leverage.
In our culture, this almost never fails to be a shock for one who discovers this truism for the first time. It becomes a shock, again, for people in our twentieth-century culture to discover that, historically, it is the Christians who were considered pagan, as they expected a "Son of God" to manifest, and the "Christians" at that time who followed this prophecy were in the minority.
Yet, though the Christians were perhaps considered "oddballs" at worst, they still were not hunted, nor exterminated, nor persecuted in any way by the reigning social or political powers at that time, nor were they scorned or treated disrespectfully by other spiritualist groups, including the Druids.
Persecution against spiritualist groups did not become a trend until AFTER the death of Jesus, when the religion now known as Christianity took crystallized form within the third-dimension. This is when the so-called War in Heaven (or the war in the astral plane) manifested into the physical dimension. Also, because the sacrifice of Jesus as a King was not executed correctly, the "circle" was left open - thus leaving the window of the astral open and continually reflected upon the Earth, Humanity, and the mental plane.
BEFORE the birth of Jesus, the "astral war" did not directly correspond to the affairs of humans. Humans in the physical dimension could work positive, creative magic that would reflect positively into the physical, mental, and astral planes.
Druids, in particular, served Humanity as priests or priestesses, working with the integration of earth, animal, human, and spirit magic. In our century, this is known as shamanism, and is adapted and applied by many people of many faiths all over the world. The Druids did not relate to a god, or many gods; instead, their focus was encompassing of the universe, and of all creative power, and the Spirit of All That Is.
Druids did not believe in the deification of external form; their care was substance, and they believed that all Matter held substance, and that the substance contained Spirit. Thus, Druids did not "isolate" their attention to specific subjects, nor did they elevate or delegate according to outer-seeming of importance. All things were relevant, and all things held import, and belonged to the Whole.
This particular "art-form" of spiritual expression has long been lost to the masses. There are isolated cultures where individuals are groomed for magical apprenticeship, and these relationships - to the outside world - often carry the taint of secretiveness and furtiveness. Christianized societies tend to disallow the appearance of large groups of shamanistic practitioners, so those who would truly work with the shamanistic energies are forced by necessity to work alone, often in fear and secrecy, and cannot pass their wisdom down to more than one student through a whole lifetime.
Sadly, many of the ancient practices have been discovered, kept alive, and perverted by those who did not understand their discoveries, or were thwarted by their own ego, and these practices have now mutated into pseudo-religions, most popularly Wiccanism.
The essence of Wicca, if practiced with care and wisdom, is as "pure" a form of magic as we know of, and we nod in affirmation to those who correctly practice what they know as Wicca.
Scientology, on the other hand, is a "great" mental exercise, but should be kept out of the realm of magic. What it does is to burn, or fuse, the mental, etheric and astral planes, and the "melted form" must necessarily be brought into the physical dimension, by Universal law, to be kept out of harm's way of Creatorship. However, those who initiate to this level "lose their turn" to practice co-Creatorship with Divine Intent in this particular lifetime - a sad loss to the ranks of curious Humanity.
Modern Druids, even, run the risk of subverting Divine Creatorship for the ego, or the group, and a Druid who practices with a group would do well to remember his individuality, and those that he associates with. A teacher who has lost the ability to learn is no longer a teacher, and the student who loses the ability to teach is no longer a student.
So, all of these groups are relevant, and serve Humanity by their willingness to create Good, Truth, or Beauty for the sake of the Whole.
The Wiccans and the Druids are particularly relevant to this discussion,
as they are the ones who carry the greatest esoteric burden regarding that
which is often called Samhain by practicing Wizards and Witches of various
That now known popularly as Halloween is NOT a descendant of Samhain, but of the Day of the Dead, celebrated by ancient Druids on what we call November 2, during the Boar Moon, in Scorpio. The boar is what traditionally represented the sign of Scorpio, the Druids believed.
The Druids also believed, by the way, that Libra was actually the first sign of the zodiac in the esoteric New Year - what today we call the Autumn Equinox - and the Descent of the First Ray.
As with many cultures and beliefs, it was a day of harvest thanks and celebration. There was no sacrifice of blood or virgins, no matter how disappointing that may seem to those who celebrate sensationalism and notoriety. The Druids did "dress up" - by wearing party clothes with lots of colors.
However, they did NOT wear masks, nor cover their faces in any way. To cover the face, or to wear a mask, was to present an illusion, or to wear a false appearance, and this simply was not done by the Druids.
There are some who believe that the Veil separating physical Humanity from etheric Humanity is at its thinnest, and we support that claim, from our own experience. Just as certain people "sit on a mountain-top to find God" - there is a connection between the two examples. The air is thinner, and the change in weather changes atmospheric conditions, and those conditions are reflected in the physical body. As "winter" has not set in, a human has not quite adapted (or closed off) certain avenues, vehicles of expression available to him. When the "habit of adaptation" sets in, a human shifts his physiology to adapt to external, physical stimuli.
In other words, the Day of the Dead is a great opportunity to meet spirits "during the class changes, before the bell rings." That is sort of what the Druids did - November 2 was a marked date set aside, when all the Druids collectively agreed to concentrate on harmonizing the energy between the physical, etheric and astral planes. By collectively agreeing to focus on the celebration of Life on both sides of the Veil, the Druids were practicing what we now call "global meditations" in synchronization, so that the energy put out would be that much more focused, and effective.
The second purpose - as important as the first - was for the balance of Humanity on both sides of the Veil to cooperate in an effort to align Humanity. People today tend to not consider their brothers and sisters on the other side of the Veil, but that particular population actually represents 2/3 of the Human population, whereas only 1/3 of the Humans on Earth are actually in the physical dense plane.
Thus, on November 2, the Dead were honored for their service to Humanity. That partnership was "affirmed" at the harvest, and it was a noble and honorable occasion.
The Romans under Caesar drove the Druids from Eire, or Ireland, and effectively ended the circuitry of power that the Druids had established centuries before. The Druids that survived then sailed for what we now call America, planted the seeds of their knowledge, and then disappeared. Later the Vikings set upon American soil, and had enough of their spiritual heritage intact that they, too, were able to sustain the roots planted by the Druids, and then they, too, vacated the land. This land eventually became harvested and realized by the American Indians, or neo-Asiatics, as they colonized the land before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
The two monuments that survive ancient Druidism are Stonehenge and Carnac. However, Stonehenge remains intact as established in England, but Carnac was transplanted from Eire to what is now called France, where it stands today. The purpose of both monuments is manifestation of Masculine and Feminine Energies - but the Feminine (Carnac) was removed and put out of proper alignment with Stonehenge.
Etherically, the damage sustained by that rupture has either been repaired, or substituted through esoteric purpose, so it matters little, at this time, that Carnac is not where it was intended to be. However, it was less the removal, than the purpose of the removal (disruption), that caused the damage in esoteric realms. A thousand years later, that damage has been neutralized, no thanks to the ones who broke the link in the first place.
So, these many years later, we have little evidence of the legacy the ancient Druids left behind. We have some stone-work that is barely comprehended or understood by modern archaeologists, and which is more often than not distorted as square pegs to fit round holes, and it is left to esoteric students to contemplate - and to hope - that their understandings gained in meditation reach ANY sort of synchronicity with the evolution of Humanity, or resonance within those forms created by Humanity.
In short, what we have are many isolated people who cannot assimilate their knowledge or impressions easily, that the knowledge may be coalesced into universal experience for large groups of people, instantaneously, through racial telepathy.
Instead, we have a bumbling idiot of a holiday where people dress up their kids as monsters, princesses, and any other figure of fantasy, to extort treats from their kindly, willing neighbors. Actually, this we approve of... If one is going to set aside a day to observe a meaningless custom that has no basis in our cultural foundation, somebody ought to get something out of it, and giving kids candy certainly seems benevolent enough, and is a more "practical" superstition than many other holidays that are observed.
We could say the same thing about Easter.
Our objection, if that is the right word, would apply to the particular custom of dressing and displaying a variety of monsters and other "replicas of evil". If there truly was a sincere desire to "drive evil from the earth", we would certainly be all for it. However, this custom has mutated from a false legacy that it was the Druids who were the source of the evil, and it is the Christianized Romans who chose to drive the Druids from Eire, and they did so by intimidation - much the way the Ku Klux Klan later used effigies to scare their targets. The Romans used religious hysteria and a greed for the lushest, ripest land of that continent to justify their actions of persecution and corruption.
Thus the land became silent, and the trees no longer spoke. The "curse of Ireland" will be lifted as Ascension approaches, when the harmony that was planted in the land is taken up by the people who inhabit the land. Thus, whatever we know as Halloween, or Samhain, should truly be a prayer for those of our brothers and sisters, our spiritual and blood descendants, so that they will awaken to the magic that is indigenous to that land.
Why black and orange? Valentine's Day is red and white, Christmas is known as red, green, blue, silver and gold, (though Yule is more accurately represented by blue and silver), and other holidays, as well, are associated with particular colors. Why, then, is Halloween associated with black and orange?
Black is known as the absence of color. This does not mean bad color, or evil color, or even a void. It is more a blank canvas upon which energy has not been created.
Orange is the color of the Sixth Ray - that of the Ideal, and the one which Jesus embodied. Through human history, it is the Sixth Ray that is least understood, and most abused, but it need not be so.
Thus, neither black nor orange are "evil" colors - but Ignorance often dictates that they be so.
If you knew the world was your canvas, what would you create?